Mulaka Review(Nintendo Switch)
A Journey Of Discovery
Mulaka is a 3D Action Adventure game based off the culture of Tarahumara. It is developed and published by Lienzo.
The story of Mulaka takes focus on the Tarahumara and their renowned ability for running. You take upon this journey of a Sukurúame - a Tarahumara shaman in order to fight back the current evil and corruption that has spread throughout the land. Will you be able to find and stop all the corruption that engulfs your land or is it too late?
Mulaka is a 3D action game which pits you,a Sukuruame of the Tarahumara,against the corruption that engulfs your land. Throughout the game you will use platforming,combat,puzzle solving and powers of the demigods to slay the evil that has taken over your land.
In Mulaka we follow our main character who is a warrior that must prove his worth to the deities of the land,which takes place all across the games world map. The help of these deities is vital to the lands survival against fiends that want to destroy all life and completely start over the world.
Though the games main focus is hand to hand combat, other aspects such as collecting various artifacts and puzzle solving come into play quite a bit,especially as you gain new abilities and get access to new areas that you previously couldn't go to before. This can open up the game for some that are interested in the exploration the game offers to the player.
Combat in Mulaka is rather basic and something you find in other games you've already played. You have your heavy attack,light attack,spear throw,roll and a 'bat sense' like ability that allows you to ''see'' thing's that aren't see'able with the naked eye,such as different land marks and enemy weaknesses. This helps a lot with completing objectives if you cannot find where to go to by yourself.
Speaking on the combat, I feel it's both the games weakness and its overall strength. I'll explain this a bit. For the most part the combat seems to work fairly well,albeit it is a bit on the too easy side and generally you will not find much of a challenge using it,however at certain times the combat feels rather clunky. Some times the hit detection may seem a bit off when you're trying to connect with enemies it might not always hit or even feel a tad bit delayed. This can offer up some annoyance and might even get you killed.
Combat is also made a little annoying by the occasional wonky camera that happens to rear its ugly head during bits and pieces of the fighting. While fighting multiple enemies and swinging your camera around to pan the area, the camera can glitch and even sputter around making it hard to have multiple enemy hand to hand combat scenarios. It at times makes the game more of a chore to play due to the mechanics rather than a slight against the game play itself. This does not occur in every fight that takes place,so its not an overall game breaking situation.
The puzzle aspect of Mulaka isn't exactly the greatest,but they do what they need to do. They string you along just enough to where the game doesn't get too boring by moving only from point A to point B with just combat alone. They aren't brain busters or anything that will make you scratch your head for hours on end like may something out of Zelda,but they keep enough variety so that the game is a lot less repetitive. Most involve you collecting a certain item or skill to open doors or get past obstacles.
The enemy types begin simple with tiny little insects that can become a bit of a pain to hit due to their small stature,but the further you get into the game, the more creative and different the enemy types get. This leaves you with having to invoke different tactics to beat each type of enemy. For example, you'll have a hard shell beetle who can not be damaged by simple 1 on 1 attacks but instead you must wait for his rush attack and dodge so that you may get behind him and wait for his weak spot on his booty to open up. Each enemy type you encounter will require you to use a different tactic to defeat them.
Boss fights start off really simple and straight forward, you might even get bored early on with some of them because you think that's all the game has to offer. Some bosses even seem easier than the actual regular sized enemies themselves,but I assure you this isn't always the case and the further you get into it is where the real challenge awaits you.
Each boss fight ups the ante from the previous fight, making the player have to use their wits and creativity more than than they previously did. New strategies will have to be learned and the player will have to focus on the enemy attack pattern in order to get meaningful hits in on the enemy. Some of the fights can become large scale in nature, making situations feel epic and extremely intense. It can really keep you on your toes. As mentioned before, keep an eye on the enemy's attack patter and pick and choose your spots when to attack,be creative and be on alert at all times.
Your reward for all your hard work at beating a major boss is a new power up and skill. The powers you get from boss defeats have two purposes,but only one of them really helps you out overall and that's with puzzle solving. Skills acquired from your boss fights open up different ways to interact with the environmental puzzles that you have to solve and very little of them actually are useful during combat scenarios.
The art style of this game reminds me a lot of games like Okami or TearAway. It has a very smooth like paper design that gives it a very distinct look to it and makes it stand out from other games that are currently out on Switch today. The rich crisp look and smooth animations of the game ranges from both bland to absolutely beautiful. Starting the game in a desert you might feel like ''oh man this game looks sorta bland'' but then a short period later you are enriched in vast canyon areas that completely flips your original thoughts straight on its head. So many colors,oh so many colors!
This is highlighted by the use of becoming an eagle and flying across the land. Normally you can try to cross every region and terrain and foot, but I feel trying to do that wouldn't be doing the game a full justice and I highly recommend giving yourself some nice eagle time so you can fully appreciate the art style Lienzo was going for in this game.
Overall Mulaka is a unique learning experience with great environments,great history behind it,great soundtrack. Although It doesn't set the world on fire with that it offers to players and has problems with clunky combat at certain points,I feel beneath all of that, there's enough positives for people to enjoy about the game.
Mulaka stays faithful to the history of Tarahumara in my opinion and keeps the spirit alive and well preserved for many to enjoy. This game should definitely be experienced at least once. Give it a go!
Mulaka is out now on Nintendo Switch
*Review code provided by Lienzo